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Old 03-27-2020, 08:26 AM
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Is it a coincidence that both early 2000s SARS and COVID-19 both came from China?


I don't mean that in the sense of either having been intentional. However, is there something about the China that makes it more like to be the starting point of this type of thing?
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:33 AM
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Large, crowded population and incredibly unsanitary markets that sell all varieties of live, wild animals for food, which makes it easy for new diseases to jump from animals to humans.

Michael Osterholm explained it on Joe Rogan's podcast.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:41 AM
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As was mentioned, in China there are live animal markets where a wide range of animals are kept together in unsanitary conditions.

Viruses tend to travel between species (bats, pigs, birds, pangolins etc) then into humans. So they mutate.

The live animal markets allow viruses to mutate and become novel.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 03-27-2020 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:46 AM
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From what I've read, in central/western China, there are more animals and people living in closer proximity to each other- rural China is still fairly densely populated. And the cultural preference for very fresh meat, means that there are a lot of "wet" markets, i.e. where the animals are live at the market and slaughtered there at point of sale. So there are a lot of other animals living in close proximity, and a lot of people coming in contact with them. And there's fairly lax sanitation going on out in rural China apparently- not a lot of concern or oversight either. And there are some janky cultural practices involving eating weird meats as well that populate the wet markets with some odd animals.

So you have a witch's brew of animal species living/being stored in close proximity to a LOT of people, and indifferent sanitation on top of all that. That makes conditions ripe for cross-species virus jumps, which is exactly what happens every so often - the 1956 Asian Flu, SARS, H7N9, COVID-19.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-cou...sia-and-africa
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/o...ina-cause.html
https://www.realclearscience.com/blo..._in_china.html
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:53 AM
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We're just very lucky that there has not been a 'Tyson Bird Flu' or a 'Hormel Swine Flu' pandemic that started here.

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Old 03-27-2020, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wbgreen View Post
Large, crowded population and incredibly unsanitary markets that sell all varieties of live, wild animals for food, which makes it easy for new diseases to jump from animals to humans.

Michael Osterholm explained it on Joe Rogan's podcast.

Reading the list of animals, it looks like an Indiana Jones scene.



I heard about the Chinese gov't originally being slow to react/covering it up, is there any truth to that?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 03-27-2020 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:16 AM
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It might have something to do with 20% of humanity living in China. Also, this isn't some swine/bird/bat flu. I haven't heard anything about this being a virus that jumped from an animal, so I see no reason to blame Chinese food habits. Does someone have a cite to the contrary?
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:26 AM
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We're just very lucky that there has not been a 'Tyson Bird Flu' or a 'Hormel Swine Flu' pandemic that started here.
I take it you never read "The Jungle".

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I haven't heard anything about this being a virus that jumped from an animal, so I see no reason to blame Chinese food habits. Does someone have a cite to the contrary?
It has been associated with a Chinese market that deals with animal products, some of them eaten, though not relevant in this case. This virus seems to be from a bat, but general animal handling practices seem to be relevant.

Last edited by Great Antibob; 03-27-2020 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:30 AM
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It might have something to do with 20% of humanity living in China. Also, this isn't some swine/bird/bat flu. I haven't heard anything about this being a virus that jumped from an animal, so I see no reason to blame Chinese food habits. Does someone have a cite to the contrary?
Actually, there has been a lot of theories that it did jump from animals. Bats have been mentioned. Nothing is proven yet though. Pangolins are being checked currently. They have a related virus apparently.

From here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0317175442.htm
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But the scientists found that the SARS-CoV-2 backbone differed substantially from those of already known coronaviruses and mostly resembled related viruses found in bats and pangolins.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:32 AM
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It might have something to do with 20% of humanity living in China. Also, this isn't some swine/bird/bat flu. I haven't heard anything about this being a virus that jumped from an animal, so I see no reason to blame Chinese food habits. Does someone have a cite to the contrary?
Yes.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0326144342.htm

There are many many species of bats so there are many coronavirus species in them. Unclear what was the intermediate host this time. Probably not snake. Civet first SARS I think.

But not to blame. Mostly lots of people in rural conditions.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:34 AM
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I haven't heard anything about this being a virus that jumped from an animal, so I see no reason to blame Chinese food habits. Does someone have a cite to the contrary?
Pretty much every source that isn't a conspiracy theory claiming it's artificial. Scientists in general are assuming it came from animals. The present main contenders are pangolins and bats.

If this thing has a silver lining, it will be shutting down the wildlife trade and exotic animal markets, which are a major factor endangering many wild animal species.

Last edited by Colibri; 03-27-2020 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:43 AM
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Pangolin Says It Has More Viruses Where That Came From If People Donít Leave It The Fuck Alone
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:49 AM
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They are very interesting mammals. I do hope people leave them the hell alone for now on.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:55 AM
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Huh, now that you guys mention it, I remember bats being mentioned earlier on. Time is stretching, seems like a year ago since this started.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:56 AM
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Almost 20% of the Earth's human population live in China, so even if conditions were the same everywhere, there's a ~20% chance any new disease would come out of China.

There are two ongoing pandemics, COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. Only one of them came out of China. Looking at recent WHO Health Emergencies:

- 2009 H1N1 flu from the Americas

- Ebola (2014,2018) from Africa

- Zika (2016) from the Americas

- Polio (2014) - not a new disease (endemic in humans throughout history)

Last edited by scr4; 03-27-2020 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:16 AM
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Pretty much every source that isn't a conspiracy theory claiming it's artificial. Scientists in general are assuming it came from animals. The present main contenders are pangolins and bats.
My understanding that any particularly obnoxious outbreak starts with a cross-species transmission, simply because any virus with any sort of longevity evolves so it is at most a mild annoyance to its "home" species, since it is in the virus's best interest to keep its hosts around long-term (i.e. not killed and not incapacitated enough that it's killed by something else).

The outbreaks with a lot of mortality/morbidity are mostly because a virus has mutated just enough to jump species, and the new species is different enough that the virus causes more damage in the new host.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:30 AM
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It might have something to do with 20% of humanity living in China. Also, this isn't some swine/bird/bat flu. I haven't heard anything about this being a virus that jumped from an animal, so I see no reason to blame Chinese food habits. Does someone have a cite to the contrary?
Most human viruses come from animals, in the sense that they remain viable in animal populations and pop up in humans every now and again once there is a new population with no immunity from prior outbreaks.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:52 AM
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Pangolins and bats are carriers of a wide range of pathogens that can rock our world.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:55 AM
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Most human viruses come from animals, in the sense that they remain viable in animal populations and pop up in humans every now and again once there is a new population with no immunity from prior outbreaks.
Indeed, that's what viruses do. They survive, and they survive by jumping species and mutating, not necessarily intending to kill their new hosts, but they end up doing so because hosts have insufficient immunity.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:26 AM
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As a kid growing up, my dad was a general manager of a hotel. As a member of the hospitality industry, he did a lot of international travel. Asia was a particular favorite for him (e.g. he married my step-mother after meeting her in Hong Kong), and enjoyed getting out of cities and into local places.

I recall, when I was about 12 (so, 1990ish), he showed me pictures after taking a trip that routed through mainland China. He had arrived at what I now understand to be a 'wet market'. If I hadn't seen the pictures, I wouldn't have believed it. There was no refrigeration; instead, animals were largely available while alive in tanks. I specifically recall snakes in one tub. There was also a picture of a man riding down the street on a bicycle; in the basket behind him was a full sized dog, clearly roasted. Also, he had a picture of a girl selling a bear claw - no, not an ťclair, but an actual bear's claw.

So, yeah, the cultural practices inside the rural parts of China are huge vectors for disease.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:26 PM
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I heard about the Chinese gov't originally being slow to react/covering it up, is there any truth to that?
The local government appears to have done some mix of that, the central government didn't.
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:04 PM
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We're just very lucky that there has not been a 'Tyson Bird Flu' or a 'Hormel Swine Flu' pandemic that started here.

CMC fnord!
You mean like this one?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_flu_pandemic
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:32 PM
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Ironically captive pangolins are very fragile and particularly vulnerable to pneumonia. I first heard this from a keeper in the San Diego Zoo who was admonishing folks not to try and touch the animal she was exhibiting. Apparently the keepers go through a thorough disinfection process before attempting to handle one.
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:55 PM
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There was an article in a recent Science News about why bat viruses tend to be more dangerous to human (and pretty much all non-bats, for that matter) than other viruses. I tried to find the article online, but came up blank.

Anyway, it seems that bats' immune systems are much better at fighting off viruses than most animals. Part of this is bats' ability to limit inflamation. So their viruses evolved to be more aggressive in spreading from cell to cell. And when those viruses get into animals that don't have such a good immune system, they cause serious damage.

This coronavirus is not the first one to come from bats. Marburg virus also came from bats and possibly Ebola did too.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:08 PM
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There was an article in a recent Science News about why bat viruses tend to be more dangerous to human (and pretty much all non-bats, for that matter) than other viruses. I tried to find the article online, but came up blank..
I assume it's this one.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:14 PM
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Why can't China just stop fucking around with animals? Seriously. Leave them alone. This is how we get all these bullshit virus outbreaks that fuck with us. Even after all this, now they're experimenting with bear bile as a possible treatment for coronavirus. LEAVE THE ANIMALS THE FUCK ALONE. Jesus.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:53 PM
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Why can't China just stop fucking around with animals? Seriously. Leave them alone. This is how we get all these bullshit virus outbreaks that fuck with us. Even after all this, now they're experimenting with bear bile as a possible treatment for coronavirus. LEAVE THE ANIMALS THE FUCK ALONE. Jesus.
Traditional Chinese medicine is known to contain a lot of wu.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 03-27-2020 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:57 PM
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China won't "just stop fucking around with animals" for the same reason that the US won't. As others have already pointed out, it's not about China.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:41 PM
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Yeah, in some ways it is about China. Traditional Chinese "Medicine" has been a scourge on vulnerable animal species for decades now.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:10 PM
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I assume it's this one.
Yes, that's it.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:20 PM
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There is an informative video from Vox with the title "How wildlife trade is linked to coronavirus" on Youtube. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPpoJGYlW54
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Old 03-28-2020, 04:43 AM
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China won't "just stop fucking around with animals" for the same reason that the US won't. As others have already pointed out, it's not about China.
And as others have pointed out, traditional wet markets and initial local cover-up played a significant part.

The clocks at Trump tower are right twice a day.
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:05 AM
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And as others have pointed out, traditional wet markets and initial local cover-up played a significant part.

The clocks at Trump tower are right twice a day.
This is all accurate but some of the facts get exaggerated, particularly by Trump and his supporters (Not by you, just using your post as a jumping off point)

- The cover up seems to have been at a local level and was basically to hide negative news ahead of the party conference. This is appalling behaviour, particularly since the whistleblowers were even arrested. However, it's been spun in much of the media as the Chinese government knowing they had a pandemic threat on their hands and deciding to sit on it "for months". The timeline and details are just not accurate.

- The wet markets, in my Western-raised opinion are fucking disgusting and immoral. No argument there. But when people like Shapiro say the Chinese should stop eating bats, it's very misleading. A very small number of bats are bought illegally in one or two cities for their medicinal properties. The vast majority of Chinese people are not even aware that this is a thing.
If you come to Beijing hoping to try some bat soup, you're gonna be disappointed.

- China screwed up the initial phase pretty bad, but Trump's attempt to focus on that (and name the virus "Chinese virus" or "Wuhan virus") is just an attempt to duck any responsibility for how the virus has been handled in the US.
And I am really worried about that aspect -- if things get really bad in the US, Trump will lean more and more heavily into the anti-China thing, especially as it looks like China is essentially over this virus. The call for reparations will get louder, China will refuse, and I don't know what happens after that
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:41 AM
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The danger has been known, and remarked upon, for years now. From Cheng et al., Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, Oct. 2007:
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The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb.
Of course, this doesn't lead to any kind of indictment of Chinese culture. But it does mean that we could---and should---have been better prepared for this sort of thing.
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:43 AM
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{...} And I am really worried about that aspect -- if things get really bad in the US, Trump will lean more and more heavily into the anti-China thing, especially as it looks like China is essentially over this virus. The call for reparations will get louder, China will refuse, and I don't know what happens after that
Folk wisdom says the Great Depression was ended with WWII, so . . . yeah, there's even more carnage we can prepare for!

Damn, if I had only thought to invest in coffin futures.

CMC fnord!
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:12 AM
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This is all accurate but some of the facts get exaggerated, particularly by Trump and his supporters (Not by you, just using your post as a jumping off point)

- The cover up seems to have been at a local level and was basically to hide negative news ahead of the party conference. This is appalling behaviour, particularly since the whistleblowers were even arrested. However, it's been spun in much of the media as the Chinese government knowing they had a pandemic threat on their hands and deciding to sit on it "for months". The timeline and details are just not accurate.

- The wet markets, in my Western-raised opinion are fucking disgusting and immoral. No argument there. But when people like Shapiro say the Chinese should stop eating bats, it's very misleading. A very small number of bats are bought illegally in one or two cities for their medicinal properties. The vast majority of Chinese people are not even aware that this is a thing.
If you come to Beijing hoping to try some bat soup, you're gonna be disappointed.

- China screwed up the initial phase pretty bad, but Trump's attempt to focus on that (and name the virus "Chinese virus" or "Wuhan virus") is just an attempt to duck any responsibility for how the virus has been handled in the US.
And I am really worried about that aspect -- if things get really bad in the US, Trump will lean more and more heavily into the anti-China thing, especially as it looks like China is essentially over this virus. The call for reparations will get louder, China will refuse, and I don't know what happens after that
Agreed.

I said "The clocks at Trump tower are right twice a day." in a broad sense rather than the extent to which Trump and assorted shitheads like Shapiro will try to milk it. I'm not sure if I want to talk about Trump in case this gets sent to GD.
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:20 AM
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- China screwed up the initial phase pretty bad, but Trump's attempt to focus on that (and name the virus "Chinese virus" or "Wuhan virus") is just an attempt to duck any responsibility for how the virus has been handled in the US.

And I am really worried about that aspect -- if things get really bad in the US, Trump will lean more and more heavily into the anti-China thing, especially as it looks like China is essentially over this virus. The call for reparations will get louder, China will refuse, and I don't know what happens after that
Yep to this.

What's also not discussed is how MAGA has fundamentally contributed to disorganized, uneven manner in which countries around the world are responding to the situation.

World Wars One and Two were the product of a decades-long decline in globalization (their version of it) and a transition to nationalism. With globalization, there is greater emphasis on cooperation between two countries, even two competitors like China and the US. Rather than trading blame, countries say "Okay, the virus started here, let's allow CDC and WHO to come in and help us analyze this." And countries like the US say "China's had some experience with this thing, let's encourage them to open up and share what they know. Who knows? Maybe they have experimental treatments and they might be closer to a vaccine. They might have respirators, masks, and tests we don't yet have." That's what global cooperation would look like.

Instead, China was already feeling the pressure of a 2-year trade conflict and facing serious accusations of espionage and corporate theft. A fair number of these accusations were probably true but handled in such a way that China lost some face. China was also facing pressure over the HK protests. China had incentives to hide the problem so as not to scare off major companies who used Chinese labor as part of its supply chain.

But now we're seeing national competition playing out in a different way. Trump's nationalism push has made the global response more complicated. Moreover, as you pointed out, his administration completely bungled the response on multiple fronts, and now it's the US trying to save face. Two superpowers that are more concerned with trying to scam their own people isn't a good prescription for a global solution. Further, there's a real danger that the country that emerges with the first vaccine might not want to share it with everyone, as a way to punish others - and that would not just lead to a global health crisis but a global political crisis as well. It could lead to serious political fractures and destabilize governments across the globe.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:42 AM
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I said "The clocks at Trump tower are right twice a day." in a broad sense rather than the extent to which Trump and assorted shitheads like Shapiro will try to milk it. I'm not sure if I want to talk about Trump in case this gets sent to GD.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:57 AM
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Alright, zipping up on that.
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:58 PM
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Reading the list of animals, it looks like an Indiana Jones scene.


It's been said that the Chinese will eat anything with legs except a table. So will I.

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Old 03-28-2020, 06:04 PM
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It's been said that the Chinese will eat anything with legs except a table. So will I.
quoting myself, after reading some of the links here, maybe I should rethink that
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